In a leaked audio, key officials for the super PAC supporting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told donors they needed an infusion of $50 million over the next four months.
"We just need your help getting $50 million more by the end of the year and $100 million more by the end of March," said Chris Jankowski, as heard on the audio hours before DeSantis took the stage on August 23.
The "DeSantis index," a proprietary tool that gauges support for the Florida governor, was among the details provided.
The recording gives listeners a behind-the-scenes glimpse at a super PAC's tactics, which have taken on a huge role in DeSantis' presidential campaign.
This involvement has drawn the attention of campaign finance watchdogs and has caused conflict with DeSantis' official campaign.
Days before the Milwaukee event, the super PAC produced a letter containing debate advice for DeSantis, which caused the situation to come to a head.
Never Back Down has functioned as a de facto shadow campaign for the governor, having been initially sponsored in major part by $82.5 million transferred from DeSantis' state political organization.
The super PAC organized the pre-debate fundraiser at a pivotal time in DeSantis' campaign.
The debate was viewed internally as a chance for the Florida governor to galvanize donors and supporters for its robust fall campaign after a month-long shakeup of his political operation to address stagnant poll numbers and expense overruns.
While it was up to DeSantis to put on a show that would ease any remaining doubts about his viability, his super PAC was secretly working to reassure a group of affluent people identified on the video as a mix of DeSantis' committed supporters.
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